Surprising Comfort

…Does personal confidence that we will receive everlasting rewards for our works square with all the biblical data?

To be very clear, the question here is not about whether we will receive those rewards, but about the issue of personal confidence that we will receive them.

… Jesus’ teaching here should prompt us to question ourselves about how secure we feel about our works for the last day. In verses 41–46, Jesus tells the goats to depart from him into their everlasting curse, but they respond that they had not had the opportunity to do the works for Jesus that would have evidenced their faith. They were confident that they had paid attention to the chances that they would have had to do something that would have been for Christ, but these opportunities had not been there. Christ’s point was of course that they should have done acts of service because it was the right thing to do – the virtuous thing – rather than because they could have served Jesus directly. In other words, the catchy summary of Luther’s theology that “God does not need your works…but you neighbor does” fairly represents at least part of Jesus’ teaching from Matthew 25. Read more»

Harrison Perkins, “Surprising Comfort,” Modern Reformation, October 16, 2020.

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One comment

  1. The more I read that passage from Matt. 25 the more convinced I become that when Jesus says, “me” (i.e., you welcomed me, you fed me, you clothed me, you gave me drink) he is specifically referred to the church that he is about to establish on earth. IOW, he foresaw that the Christians were about to undergo difficulties and persecution. Roman prisons were little more than dungeons, holes in the ground. If a person was thrown into one they were entirely dependent upon friends or relatives to bring them food, drink, and clothing. I say this in contrast to those of more liberal persuasion who seem to think that this passage is a command to feed and clothe those in need throughout the entire world, never minding evangelizing is a first priority. In fact, many of the mainline protestant denominations with which I am familiar place so much emphasis on these physical needs that their preaching and teaching is often devoid of the Gospel.

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